KABUL: The Taliban militants killed tens of unarmed civilians in Kandahar’s Spin Boldak since they captured the district in a massacre that may amount to a war crime, the U.S. and British embassies in Kabul said on Monday.
The U.S. and British missions in a statement condemned the Taliban for massacring dozens of civilians in a series of retaliatory killings which, they said, are war crimes.
The condemnation followed a report by Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission on the mass killing of civilians in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar.
“The killing of civilians in Spin Boldak should be investigated and that those Taliban fighters and commanders who committed such crimes should be held accountable,” they said.
Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission in a recent report, surrounding what happened after the capture of Spin Boldak by the Taliban, earlier accused the militants of killing civilians.
The watchdog reported that the militants had captured Spin Boldak border district last month and killed civilians in retaliation, disregarding international humanitarian law.
After the capture of Spin Boldak by the Taliban, militants either detained or killed about 400 civilians, according to reports.
The human rights commission said it had identified 40 civilians so far, but stressed that the death toll was much higher.
The US and British embassies in Kabul condemned the Taliban leadership, saying that if they can’t control their militants they won’t have any position in the next government.
They called for an immediate ceasefire and stressed the need to protect the lives and properties of civilians.
Afghanistan has seen a surge in Taliban attacks since the beginning of the withdrawal of US-led forces from Afghanistan on May 1.
The Taliban, meanwhile, have gained control of some districts, which, according to the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations, have forced some 300,000 Afghans to flee their homes.
“Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, all people have the legal responsibility to respect the inherent dignity of each person,” the U.S. embassy said in a tweet. “The Taliban’s disregard for the dignity of each Afghan citizen and for human life more broadly has shocked the world. This is not how legitimate powers or governments behave.”